It’s has to be the sound of the engines syncing into and out of cadence, or maybe it’s the overall impression people have of airplanes with more than one powerplant. Whatever it is, twins remain at the very top of the popularity chart, especially at warbird events. As with any RC airplane, regardless of the number of engines or motors it has, there are some basic rules and dos and don’ts by which every twin-engine airplane pilot should abide.
FUEL FOR THOUGHT
The most important consideration for any twin airplane is engine reliability. Take the time to correctly set up your engines. Reliable engine operation requires a clean supply of fuel and a properly set up fuel system. Fuel filters are a must and you should check them often to make sure they remain clear of debris. If you have a gasoline engine with a Walbro or similar carburetor, be sure to check the internal fuel filter screen as well. Use two filters with your fuel container. Be sure to also use an inline filter where the fuel lines attach to your model, and another “clunk filter” inside the container. Make an inspection of your fuel system a daily part of your outline. It could save you from a crash.
ALL SYNCED UP
Getting the two engines to sync up and run at the same rpm is where many new pilots stumble. Never lean your slower engine to increase its speed. This almost always leads to the engine overheating and eventually signing off—never a good thing with a twin. Always adjust the carburetor of the faster engine and richen the high-end mixture slightly to decrease its rpm. After dealing with the high end, go back and make sure that both engines have reliable idles as well. As a rule, it is always better to have reliable running engines than ones that match rpm exactly.
Six Steps to Success
With today’s ultra-reliable electric power systems, e-twins are extremely popular. As with all types of airplanes, reliability is key and electric twins have this in spades! Here are some basic rules to keep your electric-powered twin happy.
1. Use one controller for each motor.
2. When using one battery pack for all motors, be sure its capacity exceeds the requirements of the combined current of both motors. (If each motor draws 25 amps and there are two motors, the pack must be able to handle 50 amps).
3. Use only one BEC unless the manufacturer says it’s okay to wire two in parallel at the receiver.
4. Use a Y-harness for all receiver connections from the speed control to your throttle input on the receiver.
5. Keep all wires as short as possible from the battery to the speed control and from the speed control to the motors.
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